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johnpaul
2005-01-10, 12:36
Apple's development of an Airport/Airtunes with a remote and remote display
is the 300# Gorilla. The need is so obvious that I cannot believe that Apple
is not developing it. The ability to play DRM protected music purchased from
Apple would make this a high level competitor to Slimdevices.

I believe that Slimdevices needs to get into bed with a company such as
Rhapsody in order to compete with the coming product from Apple. I
personally believe that there are advantages to not owning the digital
content, rather paying on a monthly or per use basis.
The current Rhapsody plug-in is a start, but has problems and is apparently
not supported by the author. A better plan is to figure out the licensing
issues with Rhapsody and build the system so that this is a well working a
supported option. I only use Rhapsody as an example, there are probably
other types of businesses out there that would work as well.

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com] On Behalf Of Steve Baumgarten
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2005 6:41 AM
To: Slim Devices Discussion
Subject: [slim] A user's perspective

Sean Adams wrote:

> Yes, standalone systems are much easier, but they're not cost-effective
> for this. Indeed, we're taking a challenging approach here, but it
> seems to be working out fine so far because we're delivering a lot of
> functionality per $.

I see Slim's competition as Apple's Airport Express more than a
standalone box of some kind. Apple has shown that people are happy to
have their Macs/PCs be their "one stop shopping" point for music (and
literally so if they're buying tracks from the iTunes store). And
they'll sell you a simple gizmo to let you stream that music to a single
stereo system in your house. But that's all you can do.

What you get: you use the familiar iTunes interface to control it. No
fuss setup.

What you lose: no remote display; no remote control (must use iTunes on
the Mac/PC where all your music is stored); no control via web browser
on a laptop not running iTunes; no multi-player sync.

It's a tradeoff. Simplicity means fewer "moving parts"; Apple doesn't
have the "why does the display change to the next track 2 seconds before
the music starts to play" type of problems that Slim may have, simply
because the functionality isn't there in the first place. Why don't all
my Airport Expresses sync up correctly? No problem there, since they
can't sync in the first place. FLAC files not playing right on your
Airport Express? Ogg files? APE files? No problems there, since they
can't in the first place.

Buy a Squeezebox, plug your stereo into it. Stream compressed music
only. Don't look at the display or use the remote -- only control it via
the browser running on the same PC as the Slimserver. That's more or
less what you get with Airport Express. If you do just that, you'll have
a simple music experience, and things will likely work just fine for
you. (Subject to wireless glitches -- all of which can potentially
plague the Airport Express as well.)

I like that the Squeezebox lets me do more, and as long as it works "out
of the box" for most people in a relatively simple and standard mode
(similar to Airport Express), I think Slim Devices will be fine.

SBB




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